The Montclair State Men’s Ice Hockey Team suffered tough weekend losses against both the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) this past weekend.
On Friday, Dec. 9, the puck dropped at the Whittemore Center Arena as the Red Hawks faced UNH at 7 p.m. Just two minutes into the first period, Montclair State came out strong when forward Matt Hazuda scored off of a pass from Chris Preziosi to create a 1-0 lead. Both teams battled for the puck, and with just a little over a minute left in play, goalie Trevor Tironi allowed one goal to end the first period 1-1.
The second period was underway, and Montclair State’s defense weakened as UNH skated past them and scored three goals. Luckily, the Red Hawks didn’t suffer from any penalties while UNH harnessed two. Trailing 4-1, Montclair State remained positive while trying to generate a few goals going into the third period.
Exactly one minute into the third period, Montclair State’s Michael Buckel put one past UNH’s goalie to add another point on the board, thanks to the assists from Hazuda and Preziosi. Just after Buckel’s goal, Matthew Dreisbach and Prezisoi made a swift pass to Hazuda, as he scored yet again, upping the score to 4-3. The game seemed close until UNH began dominating. The score rapidly increased for UNH by six points within just 15 minutes. The third period quickly came to an end and the Red Hawks suffered from a tough unexpected 10-3 loss.
That Saturday, at 6:50 p.m., the Red Hawks looked ready to take on ECSU at the Bolton Ice Palace. With Tironi in net, hoping for his last win of his Montclair State hockey career, the team fought hard. The first period looked like an even battle between both teams. Four minutes in, Captain Preziosi put one behind ECSU’s goalie with passes from Hazuda and Buckel. Tironi continued to make necessary saves as Montclair State’s defense slowed down, but ECSU managed to score two goals, ending the first period.
With ECSU up by one, Preziosi took it upon himself to score an unassisted goal to start off the second period. Two minutes after his goal, ECSU came back and put the puck behind Tironi twice. Dealing with frustration, the Red Hawks tried to remain at a fast pace in hope of scoring needed goals.
The third period began, and ECSU came out strong ready to defend their ice. The Red Hawks fought back hard, but in the end, couldn’t score any more goals. ECSU took advantage and ended the game 6-2.
Starting goalie for the Red Hawks, number 41, Trevor Tironi, will be graduating at the end of this semester, ending his hockey career at Montclair State. “It was bitter sweet; obviously, things didn’t turn out the way we wanted, but I had a blast with these guys in my time at Montclair State,” said Tironi. “That’s all that matters to me at the end of the day.”
With Tironi graduating, the Red Hawks have a little under a month to redeem themselves against UNH. The rematch will be held at Floyd Hall on Friday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m.